Tuesday, August 13, 2013

From the white cliffs of Dover to the pavilion at Brighton

Our last day at Dartford saw us taking a trip to Dover to see the castle there and the white cliffs. Like all these historical remains, the castle at Dover is a result of centuries of building, rebuilding, adding, sacking, renovating and reinventing. It was still being used for military purposes during the Second World War although Judith and I didn't tour the WW2 tunnels.

We walked along the white cliffs which are impressive and very photogenic.

The next day we left our generous hosts and drove to Hastings and to the site of the famous battle. We took an audio tour and walked around the battlefield hearing a detailed account of what happened. Apparently it is a moot point as to whether King Harold was shot in the eye by an arrow or hacked to pieces, disembowelled and beheaded by four of William's knights specifically detailed for that task. What is not a moot point is the fact that this was a fundamental turning point in British history.

That night we stayed at a nice waterfront B&B in Eastbourne and travelled the next day Brighton where we stayed at another very nice B&B (but not on the waterfront). The following day we visited the Prince Regent's Pavilion in Brighton. This is a spectacular indo-saracen palace (or folly depending on your viewpoint) with extravagant and lavish chinoiserie interiors. It is incredibly self-indulgent, over-the-top, a profligate use of wealth but at the same time a thing of beauty.

Next stop, family history in Pitney.


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